Goa’s floating casinos live to fight another day

Goa floating casinos won't be relocated soon

Operators of floating casinos in the Indian state of Goa can heave a sigh of relief and continue their operations for at least the next six months as they have received another stay of execution from being forced to relocate.

The Public Works Minister of Goa, Sudin Dhavalikar, last Saturday, granted a six-month extension to the six floating casinos in the state to allow them to operate on the Mandovi River. This comes a day before the expiration of the last six-month extension.

The Goa government on a temporal basis seeks to move the shipboard casinos on the Mandovi River to a new waterway and has been attempting to do this for several years. These casinos would later be compelled to convert to land-based casinos in a designated gaming zone. This is part of plans for an in-development airport near Gao’s northern border.

Early August, Goa’s Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, revealed that the transfer of the floating casinos has been rescheduled to 2022. The state had originally slated 2020 for the relocation.

He also revealed the appointment of a judicial commissioner in December to handle the activities related to casino regulations. Parrikar also indicated that licences for the new land-based casinos would be valid for 10 to 15 years, after which access to the state’s casinos would be restricted to out-of-state tourists.

Analysts are predicting that shipboard casinos could see a rise in gaming revenues by 25% when relocated to dry land despite the initial challenge including the cost of relocation.

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